Protect Your Home from the Freezing Cold

The wintertime can bring temperatures below freezing, and with it, dangerous ice and snow. Such low temperatures can bring new dangers to your home. In order to protect your home, take the following important steps to prevent damage from freezing this winter.

 

Frozen Plumbing

  • Run the water in every sink overnight on nights when temperatures drop to below freezing (a light drip is enough, and put cups or buckets under the taps to reuse water).
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to keep the pipes at room temperature.
  • Wrap outdoor faucets in insulating layers (an oven mitt or towel works fine) and unattach any hoses that aren’t designated frost-free.
  • Keep your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

 

Buildup on the Roof

  • Insulate the attic properly to keep the inside of your home comfortably warm but the attic cool to prevent ice melt.
  • Clean out the gutters in late fall to avoid buildup of leaves and debris which can cause blockages from ice.
  • During and after a heavy snow storm, check the amount of snow on your roof and in the gutters. Too much snow can cause seepage and even collapse; hire a professional to clear off the snow after a heavy snowfall.
  • Maintain continuous air circulation in the attic to keep the temperature no more than 10 degrees warmer than the outside.

 

Unattended, Secondary, and Vacation Homes

  • Hire a home-sitter to check on your house at least once a week, including checking the thermostat, running the water in every sink, and flushing the toilets.
  • Keep your home at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit unless you have professionally winterized your home.
  • Hire a snow removal service to shovel the snow from driveways and private streets after every 6 inches to avoid unmanageable buildup of snow and ice during heavy snowfalls.
  • Spread ice-melt or salt on driveways and private streets before departing to prevent ice.